Ergin Ataman, coach of Euroleague champion Anadolu Efes, has starred in more than one controversy for his statements, but in this case he has generated an interesting debate. While speaking with Lithuanian journalist Donatas Urbonas, he assured that his team would have a good chance of reaching the playoffs if it participated in the NBA. Soon the responses of some players have arrived.
One of them has been the French Evan Fournier, who will live his tenth season in the NBA in which he has been with the Nuggets, Magic, Celtics and this summer he has signed for the Knicks. He doubts very much that what Ataman says would come true: “We are talking about the NBA. If a team made the playoffs, it would have to go through a full season. The difficulty for a Euroleague team would be because of the depth of the bench and the succession of parties “.
Fournier, who also knows FIBA basketball as he is a fixture on the French team with which he won silver at the Tokyo Games, concludes his analysis in a forceful way: “The gap is very large. The Blazers would easily beat them by 30 points. “.
Mike James also entered the conversation. The point guard currently works with CSKA’s second team as he is separated from the first due to his problems with coach Dimitrios Itoudis. Last season, after leaving Moscow, he played for the Nets. He had done it sporadically before with the Suns and Pelicans.
He also doesn’t give Efes options in a hypothetical NBA playoff race. “I adore their confidence,” he quipped before explaining that “Ataman believes his team can do anything at any time. Drug drug drug. That said, they have no chance of making the playoffs in the NBA.”
There is debate. Could Vasilije Micic and Shane Larkin’s Efes carve out a niche in the NBA playoffs?